With six regular senior players missing, Matlock Water Polo Club’s anticipated tough assignment at Leander last Wednesday proved just that as a solid start disintegrated into a damage limitation exercise and an eventual 26-6 defeat.
Trailing by only two goals after the first quarter and four goals after the second, Matlock lost their shape and in doing so surrendered to a fast swimming team that ultimately destroyed their opponents on the break.
Andy Massey and teenager Brad Thomas managed two goals apiece and goalkeeper Tom Illingworth made some fine reflex saves.
With two weeks before the next fixture, coach Richard Sellors is looking for good training to turn fortunes round. “We are letting ourselves down at times and our fitness levels are lower than I’d like.”
Hucknall away will be another tough test and sharpness will be needed to compete.
In an emotional month as the old Lido is no more, plans to rally the council to erect a bust of Matlock legend Adam Ellis on the spot where he used to regularly sit after finishing games early hit problems. An unnamed club official candidly explained the situation. “Bronze is expensive and we would need a lot. Perhaps two lifesize statues of Tom Barratt might be cheaper.”
The debate was continuing at the time of going to press.